How to Eat Gluten-Free on a Budget

Whether you've been diagnosed with Celiac disease, are gluten-intolerant, or are eating a gluten-free diet for your own health benefits, you will know that it is not a cheap diet to be on. Here are some tips to help you eat gluten-free on a budget.

The following post is a guest post by Jeanine, from The Baking Beauties!  Make sure you check out her fabulous blog!

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease, are gluten-intolerant, or are eating a gluten-free diet for your own health benefits, you will know that it is not a cheap diet to be on. I’m going to try to list some points that helped me to eat gluten-free on a budget.

Eat real foods

Vegetables, unprocessed meats, most dairy, and rice do not contain gluten. By staying away from processed foods, which may contain gluten, try to cook a meal using ingredients in their natural state. For example, use potatoes instead of frozen hashbrowns.

Buy your flours in bulk

By buying your most used flours in bulk, you will get a better price per pound than if you buy the smallest packages you can find. If you are in Canada, you can purchase a wide variety of gluten-free flours at Bulk Barn for a fraction of the cost compared to health food stores. Flours can easily be stored in zipper seal bags in the freezer for months.

Learn to cook & bake

When you are on a gluten-free diet, eating gluten-free is usually a life long commitment that you have to make to keep yourself feeling well. Since it is not just a faze, you might as well learn to make the best of it. By learning how to cook and bake, you open your kitchen up to endless opportunities. The gluten-free doughnuts, bread, granola bars and muffins that you can buy in the store may be good for convenience, but that is about it. Nothing beats home baking, and with some practice, you will be able to replicate nearly all your favourite gluten-filled goodies using gluten-free flours. You will just have to trust me on this. I have been eating and baking gluten-free for nearly 3 years now, and I am definitely not “living without”.

Plan ahead

When you go out for the day, you should take a gluten-free snack along from home. Some gluten-free crackers, nuts, and dried or fresh fruit are all some ideas. Once you are out and about, you may not be able to find a suitable snack for your diet, and having something to munch on is better than going through a drive-through for french fries.

These tips, combined with all the great menu planning and grocery shopping articles provided on Simply Frugal, will help you to eat well on a gluten-free diet without breaking the bank.

Jeanine Friesen authors The Baking Beauties, a blog dedicated to recipes for those on a gluten-free diet, because she believes no one should have to go without.

how to eat gluten free on a budget

Comments

  1. Wish Jeanine from The Baking Beauties a Happy Birthday..its her birthday tomorrow :0)

  2. If you’re in Canada try Judy’s Mixes http://www.magicmixes.com/

    I use their Essential Bread Mix for my husband all the time. I can’t eat it since I can’t have eggs but he says it’s the best bread he’s eaten bar none. I have a breadmaker so it’s easy to whip up!

  3. I completely agree on learning how to cook and bake because it’s easier to make your own gluten-free meals. Easier and cheaper!

    Now that I’m on a serious budget, eating gluten-free has been a huge challenge for me. Instead of buying gluten-free pasta and desserts, I’ve just cut them out completely. The only thing I’ve allowed is gluten-free bread (we all need toast in the morning). That in itself is pricey. The cheapest I’ve been able to find is $7.00 for a loaf of gluten-free bread.

    I haven’t tried baking yet.

    • My wife is gluten- and dairy-sensitive so we’ve started baking our own bread using a Cuisinart bread maker. It’s simple and takes only a few minutes to mix ingredients. The only issue is that you have to stick around for 3 hours, first to re-mix ingredients while the dough is kneeding (to get the dry ingredients off the side wall so that everything mixes evenly), and then to pull the bread out at the end of the bake cycle. I usually start baking when I get home from work so that it’s finished before bedtime. It gives me enough time to cool the loaf, slice it and pop it in the freezer for the next day.

      There are many ready-made gluten-free bread mixes that come with yeast and only require a little oil, 2 eggs and some water. They usually cost $5.50 – $6.00 per 2 lb loaf. If you buy bulk (from a company’s website or through Amazon.com), you can get prices down to as little as $2.50 per package. If you’re so inclined, you can mix and match off-the-shelf bulk flours, starches, etc to create your own GF bread mix, and that will save you even more $$ per loaf. Plus you can bake to suit your taste – I find some pre-made mixes are very convenient but they also contain ingredients whose taste I don’t like, like caraway seeds that taste too much like licorice.

      Experiment a little, have fun doing it, and enjoy the fruits (er… bread) of your labour.

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  1. [...] For more ideas on how to save money on a gluten-free diet, you can check out the article I wrote for Simply Frugal. [...]

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